ACM Recommendations on Open Government

February 5, 2009
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The ACM U.S. Public Policy Committee just published its Recommendations on Open Government:

  • Data published by the government should be in formats and approaches that promote analysis and reuse of that data.
  • Data republished by the government that has been received or stored in a machine-readable format (such as as online regulatory filings) should preserve the machine-readability of that data.
  • Information should be posted so as to also be accessible to citizens with limitations and disabilities.
  • Citizens should be able to download complete datasets of regulatory, legislative or other information, or appropriately chosen subsets of that information, when it is published by government.
  • Citizens should be able to directly access government-published datasets using standard methods such as queries via an API (Application Programming Interface).
  • Government bodies publishing data online should always seek to publish using data formats that do not include executable content.
  • Published content should be digitally signed or include attestation of publication/creation date, authenticity, and integrity.

I’ve advocated for such openness myself, and I delighted that

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Committee just published its Recommendations on Open Government:

  • Data published by the government should be in formats and approaches that promote analysis and reuse of that data.
  • Data republished by the government that has been received or stored in a machine-readable format (such as as online regulatory filings) should preserve the machine-readability of that data.
  • Information should be posted so as to also be accessible to citizens with limitations and disabilities.
  • Citizens should be able to download complete datasets of regulatory, legislative or other information, or appropriately chosen subsets of that information, when it is published by government.
  • Citizens should be able to directly access government-published datasets using standard methods such as queries via an API (Application Programming Interface).
  • Government bodies publishing data online should always seek to publish using data formats that do not include executable content.
  • Published content should be digitally signed or include attestation of publication/creation date, authenticity, and integrity.

I’ve advocated for such openness myself, and I delighted that the ACM, which represents the concerns of me and tens of thousands of computer science professionals, is taking a stand on this important policy issue.

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